ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
CANCER
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
EYE CARE, VISION
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- The International Agency for Research on Cancer on Tuesday moved tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category -- "carcinogenic to humans," according to a new report.

Previously, the agency had classified sunlamps and tanning beds as "probably" carcinogenic, so the move puts the devices a notch higher in terms of risk. It also echoes calls by some U.S. experts to place tougher warnings and restrictions on tanning bed use.

"The use of tanning beds can be deleterious to your health and we hope to encourage governments to formulate restrictions and regulations for the use of tanning beds," said report coauthor Beatrice Secretan, from the Cancer Monograph Working Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. The Agency is part of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The first priority of the WHO is to restrict the use of tanning beds by those under 18, Secretan said. "If controls are put in place it will reduce the risks of the users or deter people from using them," she said.

One U.S. expert agreed. "This new report confirms and extends the prior recommendation of the American Cancer Society that the use of tanning beds is dangerous to your health, and should be avoided," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

The report is published in the August issue of The Lancet Oncology.

In June, scientists from nine countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer to pore over data associating tanning beds with the risk of skin cancer.

Their review concluded that the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds and sunlamps begins before 30 years of age. In addition, several studies provided evidence of a link between the use of UV-emitting tanning devices and melanoma of the eye.

The genetic mutation caused by UV radiation has previously been attributed to UVB radiation alone. However, the same mutation was found in the skin of mice exposed to UVA radiation, and that radiation caused the mice to develop tumors, the researchers noted.

These findings caused the agency to reclassify all UV radiation -- including UVA, UVB and UVC -- as carcinogenic to humans. Previously the agency had classified UVA, UVB and UVC radiation as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

"The report firmly establishes ultraviolet radiation as a human carcinogen," the American Cancer Society's Lichtenfeld said.

"Young women in particular are the heaviest users of tanning beds, and are at the greatest risk of causing harm to themselves," he said. "This report also puts to rest the argument that tanning with UVA light is safe."

A representative of the tanning bed industry was less impressed by the ruling, however.

"The fact that the IARC has put tanning bed use in the same category as sunlight is hardly newsworthy," said Dan Humiston, president of the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA). "The UV light from a tanning bed is equivalent to UV light from the sun, which has had a group 1 classification since 1992. Some other items in this category are red wine, beer and salted fish. The ITA has always emphasized the importance of moderation when it comes to UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed."

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) each regulate tanning beds and sunlamps. The FDA regulates labeling of the devices and the FTC regulates advertising claims about the devices.

The FDA currently requires tanning salons to direct all customers to wear protective eye goggles and advises consumers to limit their exposure to tanning devices, and avoid them if you have certain medical conditions such as lupus or diabetes or are susceptible to cold sores.

In addition, the FDA requires labels on these devices that warn of skin aging, skin cancer and eye injury. However, in 2007 the FDA began a review of these warnings and is considering strengthening its warnings about the risk of skin cancer and eye damage, according to the agency.

Another expert, Dr. Jeffrey C. Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, believes the time has come for the FDA to restrict the use of tanning beds and to issue stronger warnings of their dangers.

"It's hard to raise the level of concern regarding the use of tanning beds any higher with what is being reported as a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma when tanning beds are used before the age of 30," Salomon reasoned. "Tanning beds now reside in the highest category of potential cancer risk, carcinogenic to humans. Legislation to restrict tanning bed use by minors and a requirement for a black box warning to consumers is now necessary," he said.

SOURCES: Beatrice Secretan, Ph.D., Cancer Monograph Working Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Jeffrey C. Salomon, M.D., assistant clinical professor, plastic surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Dan Humiston, president, Indoor Tanning Association; August 2009, The Lancet Oncology Published on: July 29, 2009